Modeling Dynamic Systems Section 10 

Author(s):
Diana Fisher 
Subject:
System Dynamics 

There are several characteristics of complex systems that can be discussed with students during these lessons. The fictitious city seems to face a dilemma; the tanning industry provides needed jobs in the present, but water pollution can cause serious detrimental effects over the long term. This is closely coupled with the idea that cause and effect in complex systems are often separated by time and space.
In the case of pollution, contamination can take decades to produce measurable effects. In the meantime, the range of impact can spread far from the initial source via transport in water, wind, etc. Finally, the lesson mentions that tanning has been outsourced from this country to developing countries; a classic case of "shifting the burden." Rather than allowing the true costs of tanning to be reflected in the prices of the finished goods, the industry itself escapes pressure to reform by sending the negative consequences to other, less regulated countries. 

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Link to the simulation: http://www.iseesystems.com

Modeling Dynamic Systems Section 6 

Author(s):
Diana Fisher 
Subject:
System Dynamics 

In the classroom example provided in this section, the author lists many "potential systems problems" that are related to the issue of overpopulation. As an extension exercise, students can be asked to identify ways in which people have attempted to solve these related problems. Did the solutions address the underlying population issue in any way? Were they successful interventions? In complex systems, proposed solutions that do not recognize and address the underlying dynamics that need to be changed are lowleverage policies; they usually fail to achieve any significant change in the overall behavior of the system. Students can be asked to undertake a similar analysis in their own investigation of a news story. 

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Link to the simulation: http://www.iseesystems.com

Modeling Dynamic Systems Section 7 

Author(s):
Diana Fisher 
Subject:
System Dynamics 

The dynamics of epidemics can be used to impart an intuitive understanding of what it means to say a policy has "high leverage." Students can be tasked with conducting policy analysis to determine the leverage points in preventing an infectious illness from becoming an epidemic. Along the way they will learn why wellintensioned but lowleverage policies in real life often fail to have the desired effects in complex systems.
For some illness/disease, symptoms appear long after initial infection. Sometimes people travel great distance while infected because they are unaware of the infection. Medical "detectives" faced with an epidemic must understand how the infection spreads and how quickly. Delays in the system make this more difficult. 

Link to the file: http://www.iseesystems.com

Modeling Dynamic Systems Section 8 

Author(s):
Diana Fisher 
Subject:
System Dynamics 

Policy analysis gives students an opportunity to learn firsthand that complex systems are rich in feedback. They will experience the frustration of implementing wellmeaning interventions, only to have them defeated by the feedback mechanisms of the system itself. They will learn why some policies have more leverage than others, and why those policies are often the most difficult to implement correctly in real life. 

PDF
Link to the simulation: http://www.iseesystems.com

Modeling Dynamic Systems Section 9 

Author(s):
Diana Fisher 
Subject:
System Dynamics 

Supply chain dynamics are useful for illustrating the complex system characteristic that cause and effect are often separated by both time and space. Supply chains are often global, with decisions taken today causing impacts into the future and across national boundaries. The lessons of this section can also be used in conjunction with the Oscillations curriculum, particularly the lesson on commodity cycles, to illustate that the cause of a problem is within the system. 

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Link to the simulation: http://www.iseesystems.com

NonLinear Systems Using STELLA II 

Author(s):
Diana M. Fisher 
Subject:
Math 

From CCSTADUS. Complex tutorial; involves catching a train, financial investment; explores linear, quadratic, and exponential growth. 

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Oscillating Example for Algebra II, Using STELLA 

Author(s):
Diana M. Fisher 
Subject:
Math 

From CCSTADUS. Demonstrates existing conditions, involves predatorprey relationship, explores (pulsestarted) oscillation. 

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Seamless Integration of System Dynamics into High School Mathematics: Algebra, Calculus, Modeling Courses 

Author(s):
Diana Fisher, & Ron Zaraza 
Subject:
Implementation 

From CCSTADUS. A report on the introduction of system dynamics concepts into the mathematics curricula, including sample models. 

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System Dynamics Models Created by High School Students. 

Author(s):
Diana M. Fisher 
Subject:
Project Histories 

Presented at the 2000 International System Dynamics Society Conference in Bergen, Norway, this paper presents examples of models with serious mistakes made in the early years of modeling classes in Portland, OR, and a larger set of good models that are mo 

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Systems Thinking and System Dynamics in the CCSTADUS High School Project (How High School Students Become System Thinkers) 

Author(s):
Scott Guthrie, & Diana Fisher 
Subject:
Project Histories 

From CCSTADUS. Science teacher Scott Guthrie and math teacher Diana Fisher discuss their individual approaches teaching a year long course in system dynamics modeling. Presented at the 1996 International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, MA. 

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